Ryan Walsh focuses his nationwide practice on complex trial and appellate litigation and corporate counseling. Having handled matters in tribunals at every level in dozens of jurisdictions, Ryan has maintained a perfect win record in all of the cases to have resolved while he managed the litigation either for plaintiffs or defendants. His practice covers a wide variety of areas, including class actions, government regulation, commercial disputes, constitutional law, corporate governance, land use, employment, and energy. 

Named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30: Law and Policy” list in 2017, Ryan has won three “best brief” accolades from the State Bar of Wisconsin, the most of any lawyer in the competition’s history. His briefing has also won awards from the National Association of Attorneys General and the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

Ryan previously served as Wisconsin’s Chief Deputy Solicitor General, where he ran many of the State’s highest-stakes cases in the trial and appellate courts. Before that, he worked in Washington D.C. in an elite complex-litigation practice group of an Am Law 10 firm.

After graduating with high honors and Order of the Coif from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was editor in chief of the University of Chicago Law Review and where he now serves as a Lecturer in Law, Ryan was a law clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Antonin Scalia and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain.

Experience

Case Experience

  • Minority Business Association of Wisconsin vs. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (Waukesha Cnty.) – Representing minority business association in facial Fourth Amendment challenge to statute permitting on-the-spot warrantless, suspicionless inspections of businesses and documents.
  • Orthopedic and Spine Centers of WI v. Dean Health Systems (Dane Cnty.) – Representing leading midwestern health-care system in litigation against former physicians challenging noncompete covenants in employment agreements.
  • In re Interior Molded Doors (E.D. Va.) – Represented leading door manufacturer in antitrust class action; briefed and argued motion to dismiss resulting in rejection of hundreds of claims.
  • County of Dane v. Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (Dane Cnty.; E.D. Wis. Wis. Sup. Ct.) – Represented non-party former adjudicator accused of bias as part of challenge to $500m clean energy project.
  • Day v. Humana, Inc. (N.D. Ill.) – Representing Humana in putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties and wrongful denial of benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
  • Beyer v. Michels Corporation (E.D. Wis.) – Representing major energy and infrastructure company in wage-and-hour hybrid class-collective action alleging failure to pay overtime and bonuses.
  • Country Visions Cooperative v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (Wis. Sup. Ct.) – Represented Archer-Daniels-Midland Company and United Cooperative in dispute over right-of-first-refusal contract on grain facility.
  • National Climate-Change Litigation (1st Cir., 4th Cir., 9th Cir.) – Defending CITGO Petroleum Corporation in cases filed across the United States alleging that a number of fossil fuel companies are responsible for various injuries caused by climate change.
  • Green Bay City-Hall Surveillance Litigation (Brown Cnty.) – Representing plaintiffs seeking preliminary injunction (which was granted) and other relief against the City’s secret audio-and-video surveillance of citizens in Green Bay City Hall.
  • Johansen v. Northwestern Mutual (S.D. Ohio) – Represented insurance company in putative class action alleging violations of TCPA by financial representatives.
  • Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm (Wis. Sup. Ct.) – Served as chief counsel for Wisconsin Legislature in successful original action seeking invalidation of an agency lockdown order on the ground that it was issued improperly under the state Administrative Procedure Act.
  • Counseling highly ranked private college on federal and state law concerning religious institutions.
  • Advised senior corporate executive in an action for judicial dissolution based on shareholder oppression. 
  • Counseled international manufacturer on briefing strategy in products-liability cases filed throughout the United States.

Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • Forbes 30 Under 30: Law and Policy (2017)
  • Best Brief, State Bar of Wisconsin (2018) (International Union of Operating Engineers v. Schimel)
  • Best Brief, National Association of Attorneys General (2018) (Gill v. Whitford)
  • Amicus Service Award, International Municipal Lawyers Association (2020) (for pro bono brief in Seventh Circuit)
  • Best Brief, State Bar of Wisconsin (2020) (Porter v. Wisconsin)
  • Best Brief, State Bar of Wisconsin (2020) (Minerva Dairy v. Harsdorf)
  • "Graduate of the Last Decade"​ Alumni Award, Hillsdale College (2013)
  • Best Lawyers: The Best Lawyers in America (2024) (commercial and appellate litigation)

News

What Clients Say

What Clients Say

  • “The best litigator in Wisconsin by a long shot. One of the best in the country, too. If the matter is complex and high stakes, I call Ryan.”
  • "A lot of lawyers are good talkers. A much smaller number are good listeners. Then there are the few who are good writers. Ryan is all three, with integrity and courage to boot. If someone dear to me needed legal advice or representation, Ryan’s name would be the first to my mind."
  • “Ryan is an exceptionally dedicated, creative, and insightful attorney. Throughout complicated litigation and under tight timelines, he never missed a detail and answered all of our questions with remarkable patience and understanding. His service is second to none.” 
  • “Ryan not only provided outstanding legal advice but also was engaged and listened to my concerns. His professionalism, knowledge, and support were invaluable. I have recommended—and will continue to recommend—Ryan.”
  • "Ryan is a great writer and great strategic thinker. Unlike many lawyers, he adapts quickly to changing conditions and, unlike most litigators, works tirelessly to avoid going to court. Ryan restrains the inner warrior just enough to fulfill Sun Tzu’s vision of supreme victory, but he always keeps the sword sharp and is ready for a good battle."

  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School
    • with high honors
    • Order of the Coif
    • Kirkland & Ellis Scholar
    • Editor-in-Chief, University of Chicago Law Review
  • Hillsdale College
    • summa cum laude
    • Senior Class President

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court of the United States
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

  • Wisconsin
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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